Asbestos Exposure and Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Though it has many causes, some people can be put at risk without even realizing it. This risk is through asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers are microscopic but dangerous. If inhaled, the fibers can get stuck in a person’s lungs. The fibers damage nearby tissue and may eventually lead to asbestos lung cancer.

Asbestos and Lung Cancer Risk

You have been diagnosed with lung cancer. Maybe you smoked, but did you ever consider that your lung cancer could have been caused by something else? The culprit could be asbestos, a carcinogen that was once widely used in dozens of industries for most of the 20th century.

When asbestos was first introduced to the commercial market, it was celebrated for its resistance to fire, water, and electricity. However, by the 1970s, asbestos was suspected of causing serious lung diseases and cancers.

Workers at the time did not realize that asbestos was dangerous. However, the companies that used asbestos in their products actually knew about the risks for years. They covered up the facts to keep making money.

Asbestos lung cancer is not your fault. You should not be denied treatment for something you could not prepare for in the first place. Companies who profited from your illness should be held accountable for the damage they have done.

This is why seeking aid through an asbestos law firm like Sokolove Law can be very helpful. Asbestos-related lung cancer treatments can be extremely expensive, but by taking legal action against asbestos-related companies, they can be within reach.

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Asbestos Lung Cancer Overview

Lung cancer caused by asbestos has the same symptoms, treatment options, and prognoses as other forms of lung cancer. The only difference is that asbestos fibers are to blame instead of other risk factors.

Asbestos fibers are incredibly sharp, thin, and tiny. In fact, they are often invisible to the naked eye. When a product that contains asbestos is disturbed, the fibers enter the surrounding air. People nearby can inhale these fibers without knowing it.

Once the fibers are in the lungs, they can become embedded in healthy lung tissue, irritating and inflaming it in the process. Over several years and even decades, this damage may cause pain, scarring, and eventually lung cancer.

Lung Cancer vs Mesothelioma

Because lung cancer starts as tumors in one local area, it’s easier to treat than malignant mesothelioma. People can be successfully treated for lung cancer if tumors are removed before the cancer has spread.

Nevertheless, the risk of lung cancer remains extremely serious. Data from the American Cancer Society (ACS) suggests that lung cancer is still the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women.

Almost 25% of all cancer deaths are from lung cancer alone, which is more than breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers combined.

Asbestos Lung Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms of asbestos lung cancer are very similar to the symptoms of non-asbestos lung cancer. The long latency period of asbestos-related diseases means that the health effects will start out mild and get worse over time before they are finally noticed.

Symptoms of asbestos lung cancer include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent cough
  • Phlegm
  • Shortness of breath and lack of oxygen

If you experience any of these symptoms for several weeks and they do not improve, you should see a doctor.

Asbestos Lung Cancer Diagnosis & Prognosis

Asbestos lung cancer is diagnosed through tests that include imaging scans and a biopsy. Imaging scans like chest X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can look for tumors inside the chest cavity. The biopsy removes a tissue sample so doctors can test it for cancer.

An important part of the diagnosis process is telling your doctor about your history of asbestos exposure. This can help them rule out less-serious diseases and factor in asbestos-related diseases.

A prognosis will vary depending on how far the cancer has spread at the time of diagnosis. Generally speaking, a lung cancer prognosis is quite poor if the cancer has spread to other sites on the body.

Asbestos Lung Cancer Treatment

Asbestos lung cancer is typically treated through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Doctors will remove cancerous masses and administer treatments to the surrounding areas.

It is important to seek medical treatment for lung cancer as soon as possible. Treatment can help prevent it from spreading to other sites. If the cancer spreads too far, surgery may not be an option. In these cases, palliative care can be used to keep lung cancer patients comfortable.

Medical expenses associated with treating lung cancer are very expensive. Health insurance may cover some of the costs, but it may not be enough to pay for all your expenses.

Are You Eligible for Compensation?

If your lung cancer was caused by asbestos exposure, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact us today to see if financial aid may be available to you.

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High-Risk Jobs for Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos products were used in many buildings, vehicles, construction materials, and goods throughout the 20th century. Dozens of industries heavily relied on it. As a result, workers were exposed to high levels of asbestos on a daily basis.

Anyone who worked where asbestos was used is at an increased risk of lung cancer or other asbestos diseases, such as asbestosis or pleural plaques. You might be surprised by how common asbestos was on job sites from the 1940s until the late 1970s.

Jobs with a high risk of occupational exposure to asbestos include:

  • Aerospace workers
  • Aircraft mechanics
  • Automotive technicians
  • Boilermakers
  • Cabinet makers
  • Carpenters
  • Coal miners
  • Chemical plant workers
  • Construction workers
  • Firefighters
  • Military veterans (especially the Navy)
  • 9/11 first responders
  • Pipefitters
  • Plumbers
  • Power plant workers
  • Railroad workers
  • Shipyard workers and shipbuilders
  • Steamfitters
  • Union members
  • Welders

Even spouses and children can be put at risk through secondhand asbestos exposure. Workers who came home in asbestos-covered clothing did not realize they were putting their family members at risk too.

Asbestos Lung Cancer Legal Help

If you were exposed to asbestos at any point in your life and developed lung cancer, it may be that asbestos was the cause of your illness. Given this, you may be entitled to compensation for your disease.

For those not well-versed in the legal world, it can be very hard to pursue a lung cancer lawsuit without help. Even general law firms may not be able to properly handle your case.

Fortunately, a dedicated asbestos law firm can help you secure the compensation you may deserve.

Did You Know?

Statutes of limitations vary by state for asbestos lung cancer cases. This means that after a certain time, you can no longer take legal action to receive compensation.

Sokolove Law has experience in getting people asbestos-related legal help on time. Our assistance is available at no upfront cost to you.

How an Asbestos Lung Cancer Lawsuit Works

An asbestos lawsuit does not necessarily involve suing your former employer or any of the U.S. military branches. Most lawsuits involve the companies that manufactured asbestos-containing products and acted negligently.

Asbestos attorneys will work on your behalf to take legal action against these groups.

Asbestos attorneys will:

  • Fly to your home, hospital, or place of residence to take your deposition (testimony of events, such as where you worked and when you were diagnosed)
  • File necessary legal documents to start your asbestos lung cancer claim
  • Keep you updated as legal action proceeds

Sokolove Law Works For You

We help asbestos lung cancer victims receive compensation by filing legal claims. Compensation can be used to help pay for your medical expenses and cover loss of income due to your illness.

Victims of lung cancer from asbestos win an average of $100,000 for their cases. However, each case is different. We cannot guarantee how much compensation (if any) you may receive in your case.

To get started with Sokolove Law, call (855) 854-2504 today or fill out the contact form. Our team of legal professionals can help answer any question you may have. If you have a case, you can speak to an asbestos attorney today.

Author:Sokolove Law Team
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: March 19, 2021

View 1 Sources
  1. American Cancer Society. “Facts & Figures 2021 Reports Another Record-Breaking 1-Year Drop in Cancer Deaths.” Retrieved from: Accessed on March 12, 2021.